Sunday, October 9, 2011

Race 2!

Today was the second 5K of my infant running career. It was a race on the other side of town that was benefiting some families of children with cancer. The stories of these children are at once heartbreaking and full of hope and it did make me feel good to participate. I brought my wife and the girls to the race as they had a lot of activities set up for kids, like bounce houses, balloons and such. We got to the festival about an hour before the Noon start time and met up with a friend of mine who I conned into running with me. He's a good runner but he held back and stuck with me the whole way.

There were a couple hundred people running, lots of families and kids. We started directly up hill and then turned left into a nice steep downhill. I definitely went off a lot more quickly than I did last week and paid for it later on. The course directions were well marked, but there were no distances. I'm guessing that it was during the second mile that I really started to suffer. There was a long drag up hill and it took a lot out of me. We were leapfrogging with a couple of people and I tried to remain steady.  I did walk two short sections after uphills to recover. My HR must have been through the roof and my breathing was more labored than it's been in a while. We had a good time though and as we finally reached the finish area there was a nice crowd cheering us on. I found my family and gave them a wave as I went by into the finish straight. The clock read 36:30 at I crossed the line, which surprised me a bit. It makes sense looking back that I struggled so much, because I was running at a pace about a minute per mile faster than I had the week before, and definitely faster than I'd ever run in training.

While I was a little disappointed that I couldn't hold my pace, I'm happy that I did try to push myself and I keep trying to remind myself that I'm still racing carrying 270lbs.

Some moments I remember from the day -

  • A team of youth football players was running behind us most of the way, but several of the kids were shooting ahead and then being called back by their coach. I think some of those kids could have beaten me by 10 minutes or so.
  • Near the end we caught up with a few women, one of whom was pushing a kid in a stroller. The woman, kid and stroller all together probably weighed less than me.
  • This was the first race where I ran into people I know or at least who I recognize. I saw the trainer at the gym who runs the boot camp out there in front of me, and I passed the lady who runs the pottery place my girls like.  I passed her because she was with 4 kids at the time.  That was a theme for me, I only passed people who had to start walking because of their kids.  
  • When I was struggling at my worst, a  woman passed us who, shall we say, chose very wisely when she picked her compression tights for today. We nicknamed her "motivation" and tried to keep her in sight for the rest of the way. After the race I never saw her again, so I'm convinced now that she was just a hallucination.

I felt a lot worse physically after the end of this one. Not sure if it was the time of day (it started at noon) or the fact that I hadn't eaten in hours or just the heavier effort, but I was physically down until we ate some lunch some time later. I'm going to try to increase my mileage in training for the next couple of weeks. My next race will probably be in the middle of November, when I'll try a local race through a holiday light display for toys for tots, and then one on our Disney cruise.

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